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April 08, 2008

State Rep: Atheist has no right to testify before state assembly

An Illinois State Representative says that its dangerous for children to learn that atheism exists. Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) excoriated atheist activist Rob Sherman as he testified in the state assembly last Wednesday.

Davis told Sherman that he had "no right to be here." It's not clear whether she meant the legislature or the state of Illinois generally.

"I am fed up! Get out of that seat!" she barked at the witness:

Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school.

I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know?

I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous--

Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?

Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!

Sherman:Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court--

Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon. [Chicago Tribune]

Audio.

HT: Crooks and Liars.

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Comments

Sherman: OK, then. Where can I get this parking ticket validated?

I think "barked" is about right -- as in, barking mad.

And that, mark you, is a Democrat -- a member of the party that wants me to think it's on my side, a force for progressive values. Hah!

We'd do well to recall that Fundamentalism is an urban child. Not every urban dweller lives in a loft in SoHo. Many city folk are as insular and terrified as the Appalachian hillbilly.

What does it take to remove a State Representative from office?

If that doesn't work, could they be sued for a civil rights violation?

According to comments on Pharyngula she's a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, and sponsored a resolution congratulating Pastor Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. on the occasion of his thirty-fifth year at the church. It does make one wonder just what she's been learning from him.

She should be chastised.

Chastised? She should be shunned.

Spirituality is a very good thing but God is overrated.

-AF

Andrew Sullivan Is A Fraud

"And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!"

She's right, you know- everything's gone to hell ever since Descartes so thoughtlessly deduced the irrefutable fact of his own existence first, before moving on, like an afterthought, to that of God. And that bill to restrict the teaching of philosophy to twelfth-century Scholasticism has gone nowhere.

What wouldn't we give to have the prosperity, justice, equity and lack of violence they enjoyed in the Middle Ages in our society today.

A hundred years from now, will most Americans still believe that there is an Invisible Man in the Sky?

This press release just came out from the Council for Secular Humanism. Sorry about the question marks sprinkled throughout; the message header claims that the character set used is us-ascii, but it appears to be some Microsoft misperception of us-ascii.

Greetings,

For Immediate Release
April 08, 2008

Contact: Nathan Bupp
Phone: (716) 636-4869 x. 218
E-mail: nbupp@centerforinquiry.net

Council for Secular Humanism Deplores Intemperate Comments from Rep. Monique Davis; calls for Davis to resign

(Amherst, New York) --Rep. Monique Davis, a Chicago Democrat and member of the Illinois legislature, stepped egregiously over the line when she verbally attacked atheist activist Rob Sherman for his religious unbelief during his testimony April 2nd to the House State Government Administration Committee, says the Council for Secular Humanism.

Sherman had been testifying before the committee that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich?s plan to donate one million tax dollars to Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago was unconstitutional when Davis launched into a diatribe against atheists, asserting that atheists did not have a right to present testimony to the legislature.. Challenging Sherman, Davis wondered aloud, ?I don?t know what you have against God?.some of us don?t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings.? Affirming that the people of Illinois believe that there is a God, Davis went on to suggest that the philosophy Sherman was spreading was ?extremely dangerous.? ?It?s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it?s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists,? shouted Davis. After Sherman thanked Davis for sharing her perspective with him, Davis shot back, ?Get out of that seat ?You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.?

The Council for Secular Humanism is appalled by Davis?s apparent belief that atheists and other nonreligious individuals are not entitled to the same rights and liberties as other citizens.

Ronald A. Lindsay, director of the Council for Secular Humanism?s First Amendment Task Force, is calling for Davis to resign. ?In informing Sherman that he had ?no right? to be there merely because he was an atheist, Davis confirmed that she is not willing to be a representative of all her constituents, regardless of their religious beliefs,? said Lindsay.

?She is unfit to serve in her office, just as a representative who told a Jew or a Hindu to ?get out of that seat? would be unfit to serve. If she does not resign, the Illinois House has an obligation to expel her,? continued Lindsay.

Sherman, after being told repeatedly by Davis to get out of his seat because he was an atheist commented that he felt like Rosa Parks, ?who also was told, get out of that seat and arrested when she didn't give up her seat on the bus to a white person.?

You can listen to the full exchange here (courtesy of Richard Dawkins.net).

The Council for Secular Humanism is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization promoting rational inquiry, secular values and positive human development through the advancement of secular humanism. The Council, publisher of the bimonthly journal Free Inquiry, has a Web site at www.secularhumanism.org

"A hundred years from now, will most Americans still believe that there is an Invisible Man in the Sky?"

Yes. I think the fantasy of a Godless future, for better or worse, has gone the same way as gender equity, nuclear disarmament and flying Pan American to the moon.

That Christian love, you can't beat it with stick, can you?

How soon before we see Rep. Davis on the 700 Club.

Removed from office?

I'm not exaggerating or speaking metaphorically when I say she sounds as though she should be escorted from the building and placed in protective detention.

She really, truly sounds crazy to me.

Definitely sounds bat shit crazy to me. http://www.zyprexa.com/index.jsp ">Zyprexa would do her a world of good.

-AF
Andrew Sullivan Is A Fraud

She is a friend and an Obama supporter. What kind of conversations does he have with the likes of her, Rev. Wright, and Rev. Meeks when they get together? "We are who we have been waiting for." I'll pass.

Pat J -

The views of that state legislator aren't Barack Obama's views. Obama says:

"Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."

Wright doesn't seem crazy to me, just terminally rude; she should apologize. She knows best, but her display of high dudgeon was probably more for demagoguery than outraged piety. (Compare the elder Bush's "spontaneously" blowing up at Dan Rather early in the January 1988 on-air CBS evening news interview.)


Eric Jaffa, I don't, and indeed "most Americans" wouldn't recognize among our convictions a belief "that there is an Invisible Man in the Sky." Your telling us what we believe resembles Wright telling Sherman, "You believe in destroying!" Are you perhaps substituting what you think you would have to believe if you were to believe in G-d for what we who do actually believe? Happy Straw Man!

Dabodius -

How about: there is a creature watching everything that happens on earth.

Would that be a better description of what religious people believe?

"Barking mad" is right. The transcript doesn't bring out the full froth-at-the-mouth quality of it; you have to listen.

Eric Jaffa, you missed the boat.

Modern religious progressives have an Aged Person in the Ground of Being.

By the way, I was paraphrasing George Carlin, who uses the phrase Invisible Man Living in the Sky.

AHHHHHH....A Dem spouting GOD!! Oh No!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Inthe words of Carl Spackler..."I Have to laugh".

Her words are ridiculous. She should be ashmaed and embarassed and taken to task. AND she should be out of office. If this is the catalyst, so beit. This woman is a scourge on politics and is nothing more than a rackateer. I have seen and heard her views many times. She is a race bater and a joke. She is no different than the right wingers you lefties here despsie. Except she wears the Dem tag like a protective shield. Like many others. She needs to go. She is no progressive! Just looking to make a buck!

By the way, trying to link her to Obama and his views is asinine. Obama DOES NOT hold this bi***'s views. F*** her! And shame on any one who tries to link her to Obama. It's like saying because Hilary is a woman she supports all of the insane views of feminists across the country. Puuuhh-leeeze!

Eric, your query re "a creature watching everything that happens on earth" triggered a semirandom walk across the Net which encountered something I would rather not have tripped over: Christian Mathematics! For an example, see this. I confess I didn't have the stomach to read it all the way through. Those folks live in a completely different world!

I don't know why Rep. Davis is so upset. Mr. Sherman will surely pay for spurning God's love when he finds himself burning in hell for all eternity. I'm sure any seemingly intemperate utterances on Ms. Davis' part stem from her selfless,Christian concern for Mr. Sherman's immortal soul.

Re: Christian mathematics- Should you waste your time reading the whole thing, you'll just find a mess of blood on the floor after the author trims mathematics to fit his procrustean Christian bed. It's the old (yawn) argument that any observed order in nature must have an author: specifically Jehovah of the old testament.

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